YourSocial Security number is a sensitive piece of information. If a fraudster gets it, plus your name, they can use the information to perform fraudulent activities under your name. This includes filing fraudulent tax returns and opening bogus accounts. By the time you realize what’s happening, you’ll be knee deep in trouble.

That’s why it’s important to keep your Social Security card safely. However, in the case you lose it, there are three things you can do to minimize the chance of crooks causing mayhem in your life with your Social Security number.

1. Review and Monitor Your Credit Report

When your Social Security card goes missing, you should first contact the three major credit bureaus and request to put a fraud alert on your file. The first fraud alert is free,and it will remain on your credit for 90 days. It helps creditors know that you could be a victim of identity theft. 

Once you file a fraud alert, you should request your credit report and review it carefully for any suspicious discrepancies. If you see any suspicious changes, the chances are you’ve become a victim of identity theft. Don’t hesitate to report your loss to the Federal Trade Commission for an appropriate action to be taken. 

2. Obtain a Social Security Card Replacement

If you don’t find any signs of fraud on your credit report, consider applying for a Social Security card replacement. Replacing your lost card won’t cost you any money. You can either apply online, by visiting a local Social Security office or by mail.

There are several requirements that you must meet when applying for a SocialSecurity card replacement online, including:

Being a U.S. citizen aged 18 and above
Having a U.S. mailing address
Having a driver’s license

You’re only allowed up to three Social Security card replacements in a year and up to 10 in your lifetime. 

3. Apply for A New Social Security Number

If your current Social Security number has been compromised due to identity theft, it’s advisable to request a new Social Security number. You won’t be given a new Social Security number automatically upon request, however.

You’ll have to first prove that you are indeed a victim of identity theft and demonstrate how the situation has affected your life. If the fraudster opened new credit accounts in your name, for example, you canshow a credit report with the list of credit cards that you’ve never applied for. 


One of the most frightening situations is when you lose documents with sensitive personal information. If you lose your Social Security card, you could end up being a victim of identity theft. Fraudsters can use your Social Security number to file fraudulent tax returns, open credit accounts in your name, among other fraudulent activities that could throw you into a financial abyss. Fortunately, there a several ways to arrest the situation before significant damage is done. You should keep track of credit report, apply for a Social Security card replacement, or request for a new card.